Music Review: Whole, by Jessa Anderson

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My Thoughts About the CD:

Jessa Anderson has done it again — Whole is gritty, honest, transparent and a little piece of her heart. I’ve enjoyed Jessa’s music since the release of her debut album (Not Myself Anymore) a few years ago and love watching her family, career and ministry grow. What I love the most about her music is that you can truly hear her love for Jesus. More than anything I love watching someone serve with every single bit of their heart and soul and listening in on Jessa’s music gives you a sneak peek right into what’s truly most important to her. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to listen to one of my new favorite songs from her new album, called IDOLS.
 

“Idols” video with lyrics: 

 

I also had the privilege of reviewing Jessa’s debut album Not Myself Anymore back in February 2012, if you are interested in finding out more about my review you can read it here: http://www.melissamashburn.net/2012/02/05/music-review-jessa-anderson-not-myself-anymore/

About the CD from Jessa’s website:

 
I was recently asked how things have changed for me with the writing and releasing of Whole, my third full length project. My best answer is this: Whole is the project I’ve always wanted to make. Through this 6-year journey of writing, creating, releasing, and touring, I have pushed myself to be real—to be me. The songs on this record feel so very me, and so very true to life. They are one woman’s perspective to be sure, but sharing that perspective is half the battle. Freely giving of our hearts and minds is what draws us near, what allows us to identify with one another.

I could write volumes about this record and each of it’s individual songs, but in the interest of time, I will just say that life is not easily wrapped up in a beautiful package, or a 3 1/2 minute radio single. Whole encompasses both the shiny, happy moments, and the gory, gut-wrenching ones. My gladness in the gospel of Jesus is expressed through songs like “Everything”, “Never the Same”, and “Story of Grace”. Issues like divorce, dysfunction, and dissatisfaction are woven through “Breakdown”, “Stay”, and “Idols”. There’s even a love song, “Caught Me By Surprise”, thrown into the mix, co-written with my talented husband (a rare feat for the two of us)! Each of these songs means the world to me, and my hope is that you’ll soon say the same.

You can purchase a copy of the CD here: http://jessaanderson.com/shop


About the Artist:

JessaAnderson2377746Jessa Anderson, a singer/songwriter residing in Nashville, TN with her husband (and resident booking agent/manager/musician extraordinaire) Jordan and our two beautiful, crazy kiddos Lorelei and Jagger. Passionate about many things, and many I enjoy, but I believe there are very few things in life that really,truly matter. First, Jesus Christ. After that, people. From there it all starts to blur into the category of “you can’t take it with you”, so I’m doing my best to invest the majority of my time and effort toward the first two. As for music, and why it matters, I view it as a thread that runs far and wide, bringing people to God and to one another. I have a hard time labeling music in and of itself as “Christian”, but I am proud to be a Christ-follower making music encompassing both the human and the holy.
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review: Alls Fair In Love And Cupcakes, by Betsy St. Amant

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My Thoughts About the Book:

Completely and utterly delicious! This book is fun, sassy, and easy to slip into like watching one of your favorite chick flicks. It is just the thing to help you enjoy and yummy get away right in the comfort of your own home. Within the pages is an edge of your seat adventure within the cupcake combat “reality show”. You can’t help to find yourself rooting for Kat and cheering Lucas on as he exposes his heart in the most creative way he can. Sit back, get comfortable and get ready to enjoy one of the sweetest Christian Fiction Romance books out there right now.

About the book:

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

You can purchase a copy here: http://ow.ly/AZIVZ

About the author: 

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Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.
You can find Betsy online: website , Facebook
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Let Nothing Move You – Visual Verse

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Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

During my quiet time this week I stumbled upon this sweet little verse. It’s not necessarily “sweet” in the sense of ahhhh, that’s cute, but sweet because it hit me right where I needed it that day and was a sweet reminder that God is with me every single moment of every day.

I absolutely love to steadfastness of this. The strong words are powerful; “Stand Firm” “Let NOTHING move you” and “Always” — wow! There’s not a maybe, or you could have, should have, hem haw about it. It’s direct. It’s clear and it is powerful.

I pray it moves you as it did me. This is just as much for you as it is for me…

Visual Verses are simply verses that have been on my heart and that I’ve made into graphics. I am a very visual kinda girl and I love a pretty little pic along with my verse so that I can print them out and post them wherever I might need them…in the car, on the nightstand, or in my journal.

You are more than welcome to download them or even pin them on your pinterest pages.

As a matter of fact I would love it if you did, they are yours to enjoy as well.

Seeking JOY on the Journey,

Melissa

PS – I took this picture at an orphanage we served at in the Bahamas. One of the other girls on the trip with me left this reminder “God is Good” on the playground for the kids to find later after we left. It was the perfect pic for this verse!!!

The Cure For The Perfect Life Book Review

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My Thoughts About the Book:

Where to begin, where to begin…seriously, it feels like this book might have been made just for me. That my secret is out and has been on hidden camera for years. This book is so incredibly spectacular, especially if you struggle with being the “trying harder” kinda girl. I mean, isn’t that what we were taught to do. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

My copy is dog-eared, folded, highlighted and the margins are crowded from all my notes. The spine of the book is cracked and it is well worn in…and this is a brand new book. I’ve carried in on vacation, in my laptop bag, in my purse and wherever else I can if I think I might be able to sneak a few more minutes to figure out how to start living braver!

Check this out, on the very first page of the book I’m drawn in (I think you will too) with this statement;

“I also have this constant feeling that everyone else “gets it” (whatever “is” is–marriage, parenting, work, friendships, God) and I don’t. It is a struggle every single day of my life, feeling like ‘m out of the loop–that everyone else was handed some manual to life.”

Oh girls, this book has something in it for everyone. Run to your computer, go to amazon.com and order yourself a copy of this book, you’ll thank me later. I’m still in the process myself to learn how to start living braver, so why don’t you join me and we’ll go on this journey together.

From the back of the book:

Are you crumbling under the burden of perfection?

You know the expectations are unreasonable–even unreachable.

And when everyone else seems more together than you, where do you turn for help?

Meet Kathi, a disguised perfectionist always looking to put everyone else’s needs above her own, and Cheri, a formerly confused and exhausted poster girl for playing it safe.  They’ve struggled just like you–and found the cure. With unabashed empathy and humor, they invite you to take part in their rebellion against perfection. Step-by-step they’ll teach you how to challenge and change unhealthy beliefs. As they free you from always seeking more or needing the approval of others, you’ll discover a new, braver way of living. At last, you’ll exchange outdated views of who you should be for a clearer vision of who you are in Christ.

The truth is you don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to be brave enough to read this book.

Website Link:  http://www.TheCureForThePerfectLife.com

FREE download of Chapter 1:  http://www.thecurefortheperfectlife.com/downloads/chapter1.pdf 

Facebook Page (aka “Braver Living Rebel Headquarters”): http://www.Facebook.com/TinyActsOfRebellion

 

kathilipp

Kathi Lipp

Website:   http://www.KathiLipp.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/kathilipp

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/kathilipp/

Kathi Lipp is the author of The Husband Project, The Me Project, The Get Yourself Organized Project, 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids, and several other books. Kathi’s articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, and she is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family radio and TV. She and her husband Roger are parents of four young adults in San Jose, California. Kathi shares her story at retreats, conferences, and women’s events across the United States. Connect with her at www.KathiLipp.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp, or on Twitter @KathiLipp.

cherigregory

Cheri Gregory

Website:  http://www.CheriGregory.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/CheriGregoryAuthor

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/CheriGregory

Pinterest:   http://www.pinterest.com/CheriGregory

Cheri Gregory is a Certified Personality Trainer; contributor to multiple books, including Wired That Way and 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids; and frequent speaker for MOPS groups, women’s retreats, parent workshops, and educational conferences. She is also a high school English teacher and graduate student. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel (her opposite personality), a pastor, for over a quarter-of-a-century; they have two college-aged kids (who are also opposite personalities). She blogs about expectations, “baditude”, and hope at www.CheriGregory.com. Connect with her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Cheri.Gregory.Author and Twitter @CheriGregory.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

Visual Verse – Watch For Me At My Gates

Proverbs 8.33 400 NLT

Visual Verses are simply verses that have been on my heart and that I’ve made into graphics. I am a very visual kinda girl and I love a pretty little pic along with my verse so that I can print them out and post them wherever I might need them…in the car, on the nightstand, or in my journal.

They are also for you too!

You are more than welcome to download them or even pin them on your pinterest pages.

As a matter of fact I would love it if you did, they are yours to enjoy as well.

Seeking JOY on the Journey,

Melissa